Anyone who knows me, knows that I adore the cosmetics brand Manic Panic. I first discovered them in the mid-90s, after a recommendation from an American friend and fell in love with their amazing colours and animal-friendly philosophy. Twenty-plus years later, I still swear by their make-up, hair dyes and accessories!
Recently, Manic Panic have expanded their range to include pastel hair colours, new lipsticks and 20 brand new limited edition nail polishes, or Claw Colors as they call them. I was sent three different shades to try and thought I would write up my experiences.
First up, as with all Manic Panic nail varnishes, the new colours are free from formaldehyde or tolune. These two chemicals are not only bad for the environment but they’re bad for your health too so thumbs up to MP for ditching them.
Seventeen of the 20 shades are vegan (Mod a Go Go, Underworld Amethyst and Electric Banana all contain shellac so are only suitable for vegetarians). Other shades include a matte black and a super-glittery top coat. They’re all packaged in the same 8ml decorative bottles as the Creature of the Night ’boutique’ range, which means they’re almost half the size of the regular Claw Colors range. However, they are a bit cheaper at $6.99 a bottle (or £7.19 from their UK distributor).
The first colour I tried was Enchanted Forest, which is a metallic forest green, a little paler than the creme (non-metallic) lipstick but almost identical in tone to the matching hair colour. It’s deeper and less sparkly than Green Envy from their regular Claw Colors range, which is one of my current favourites. The colour in the bottle was pretty much the same as the colour on my nails.
The formula is pretty thick – I only needed two coats over a base coat and it dried quickly and evenly. It lasted three days of normal activity before I started to see a bit of natural nail poking out the bottom but it didn’t seem to chip like some cheaper brands. In total, it lasted six days before I had to remove it. It was easy to remove with my acetone-free remover and there was no staining to my nails or left-over glitter. I think this could be my new favourite colour – I only wish it came in a full-size bottle!
Starry Night was the next shade I tried. This is a dark blue packed with fine electric blue glitter. It’s a bit lighter than it looks in the bottle but darker than the lipstick of the same name. It’s also darker and less metallic than After Midnight Blue in the regular Claw Colors range.
Like Enchanted Forest, it went on evenly in two coats and dried within a few minutes. Unlike with some cheaper glitter polishes, my nails felt smooth even without a topcoat. The glitter is actually quite subtle so you only catch glimpses of it in the light – for more obvious glitter, you could try layering the new Ectasy Claw Color over it which is a clear polish packed with larger flecks of holographic glitter, or even dust some of the Manic Panic loose glitter over the top! Again, this started rubbing off the tips after around three days of normal activity and lasted six days before I had to remove it. Given the glitter, it as surprisingly easy to remove, even with acetone-free remover and it didn’t scratch the surface of my nails like some cheaper glitters. However, unlike Enchanted Forest, Starry Night seemed to get a little patchy over the course of a few days. I’m not sure why this is as I didn’t do anything unusual while wearing it!
One thing to note, the matching lipstick is quite a bit paler than the nail varnish and a lot more metallic. If anything, the After Midnight lipstick is a closer match colour-wise.
The final shade I tried was Alien. This is a glossy cream polish in a stormy grey and it’s a little darker than the lipstick of the same name. Again, just two coats were perfect for an opaque, glossy grey that was a little more purplish than it looked in the bottle. It’s actually a prettier colour than I was expecting which was a nice surprise. I actually took this photo on day three and it lasted around six days before I had to remove it.
I was really impressed with the colours and the finish, but it’s a shame that the full range isn’t vegan. I’m really hoping that Manic Panic bring out some new, fully vegan shades soon!
You can order the Limited Edition Claw Colors direct from the Manic Panic website.
If you’re in the UK, you might like to order through their UK distributor instead, although they don’t have the full range in stock just yet.